Unfortunately in February 2013 The Suite went into liquidation, but was luckily bought by father/son team Martin and Gerry Shields (they also have the fabulous Stanley in Wembley). Renamed 'The Nic' expect this small bar to be extended and improved and now to cater to the whole family.
It's official. I have a new favourite breakfast destination, and if you read my other reviews you will realise how this has been haunting me lately. Breakfast, as they say, is the most important meal of the day. It's also the one that can either be the most boring or the most interesting. The Suite on the border of Subiaco and Shenton Park is most definitely the latter. Its breakfast menu is full of great options, everything is super fresh and tasty, and the very reasonable prices mean you won't need a second mortgage. It's a winner.
The Suite is operating under one of the new 'small bar licences', meaning you can order a glass of wine without a meal. Probably not recommended at breakfast time, but I was thrilled to see two by-the-glass options on the breakfast menu. Champagne breakfast, here we come. And how about this, the breakfast menu is available until 3pm on Sundays. Perfect for those who don't crawl out of bed until midday. Lucky you.
So that's the 'bar' part, now the 'small' part. It has about 10 tables and seats around 50 people (although it is licenced for 80), so a booking – especially on weekends – is highly recommended. When we arrived at 10am on a Sunday, the place was full. A family with a young baby in a pram, an older couple eating in comfortable silence, groups of young people, a gaggle of mature aged people debating politics in the separate lounge, a woman on her own reading on an iPad, a group of four each with a newspaper. The Suite caters for all sorts. I wish it were my local.
The menu caused me all sorts of trouble. I wanted it all. Homemade crumpets with orange and pistachio labneh and honey ($12), 'suitecorn' fritters with pepper and coriander salsa and an avocado and lime crème fraiche ($14), grilled haloumi and pesto with roasted tomato, roquette and Spanish onion salad on sourdough with a poached egg ($14), baked eggs with tomato and cannellini ragout, chorizo and sourdough ($14), crepes with warm citrus marmalade and fresh cream ($12). I could go on. Ok, I will. Even their 'super suite breakfast' (aka Big Breakfast that everyone else does) has interesting additions such as homemade beans, bubble and squeak croquette and chorizo ($19). You can get practically anything as a side including croquettes, avocado or extra eggs.
See those prices. Almost unbelievable, especially considering how good the food is. No wonder The Suite was a finalist for so many awards in both the 2010 and 2011 Australian Hotel Association Awards for Excellence.
I chose the bubble and squeak croquettes ($12) which were two super tasty croquettes of potatoes and other fresh vegetables with a bunch of herbs, crumbed and fried, served with bacon (not too crispy – just as I ordered), a poached free range egg, a generous serving of dressed rocket and a bowl of homemade chutney. The chutney was excellent and I ended up smearing it on the slice of Welsh rarebit that my friend offered me since I had eaten all my breakfast and was looking forlornly at hers.
The Welsh rarebit ($10), said my friend who hails from the Motherland, was just like she remembers – two large pieces of sourdough with a mix of cheese, milk, mustard and other ingredients which is then grilled. It's a mix between French toast and cheese on toast but with extra flavours. The menu recommends it with a poached egg and side of bacon (bringing it to $16).
The room is full of charm. And bugs. Literally. A trip back from the toilets is via a wall covered in eclectic findings such as mirrors, prints, and framed insects. One wall is covered in large wooden letters spelling out The Suite, perhaps just in case you have one too many and forget where you are. There is even a semi-private lounge room with leather couches and an open [but safe] fireplace, popular with parents in the early evening, where you can have a relaxed drink while not needing to worry about the ankle-biters.